Background Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are not always smptomatic. Undetected and untreated STIs of the genital tract may result in long-term sequelae, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of 7 different STI pathogens and the prevalence of possible coinfections in symptomfree men and women using PCR technique.
Methods A total of 51 specimens, including vaginal (n = 19) and urethral (n = 32) swabs were collected from asymptomatic patients attended to the hungarian National STD Center. Samples were obtained and tested for Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis by PCR examination (AnyplexTM II STI-7 Detection, Seegene).
Results During the study period 19/51 genito-urethral samples (11/19 female, 8/19 male samples) containing at least one genito-urethral pathogen were detected. The mean age of the patients was 40 years. 16/19 patients had infection caused by a single pathogen. The most frequent pathogens belonged to the Ureaplasmataceae family (15/19: 10 female, 5 male): Ureaplasma parvum (12/15) was more prevalent than Ureaplasma urealyticum (3/15). Mycoplasma genitalium occured only in one sample in this population. 3/19 patients had co-infection without any symptoms: Ureaplasma species were coupled with Mycoplasma hominis two times and once with Neisseria gonorrhoeae in these cases. Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis were not detected in the samples during screening.
Conclusion Females carry STI pathogens more commonly than males. High prevalence of Ureaplasma sp. in symptomfree female patients suggests that women, especially before conception, should be screened for more STI pathogens not only for N. gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis. Occurence of co-infections is also possible in the asymptomatic population.
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